By Adam S. Levy – Radar Staff Writer
Angola-born Leila Lopes emerged from the pack of 89 stunning women to be crowned the 60th Miss Universe Monday at Sao Paulo, Brazil’s Credicard Hall.
Asked what physical trait she’d change about herself, the 25-year-old beauty said she’s “very satisfied with the way God created me.
“I wouldn’t change a thing,” Lopes said. “I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family and I intend to follow these for the rest of my life.”
With the win, Lopes receives a bonanza of goodies, including a New York City luxury apartment; a one-year film scholarship and housing from the New York Film Academy; assorted jewelry; a full wardrobe of evening wear and shoes; a year’s supply of nail and hair care supplies; and a custom diamond tiara.
It’s not all glitz and glamour, however, as Lopes said she plans on using her crown and fame to impact social causes — most notably curbing the worldwide spread of HIV.
“I work in the fight against HIV,” she said. “I think now as Miss Universe I will be able to do much more.”
NBC’s Natalie Morales and Bravo’s Andy Cohen served as hosts for the night. The judges’ panel included race car driver Helios Castroneves, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Adrienne Maloof, Kill Bill star Vivica A. Fox and legendary journalist Connie Chung.
“You have to keep in mind that these women are not objects just to be looked at,” Chung said of the contestants. “They’re to be taken seriously.”
The first runner-up was the Ukraine’s Olesia Stefanko, while Brazil’s Priscila Machado was the second runner-up. Last year’s winner was Ximena Navarrete of Mexico.